Princeton Anthropology professor dies while teaching global seminar

Professor Isabelle Clark-Decès passed away Thursday

Anthropology Professor Isabelle Clark-Decès died while leading a summer class abroad on Thursday, the university announced in an email addressed to students and faculty members.

“I am deeply saddened to report that Isabelle Clark-Decès, a professor of anthropology and director of the program in South Asian Studies, died Thursday in northern India,” wrote Dean of Faculty Deborah Prentice.

While walking alone in the village of Mussoorie, Clark-Decès died after an accidental fall, a university spokesperson said. At that village, she was leading the Princeton Institute of International and Regional Studies Global Seminar, “At Home (And Abroad) in the Indian Himalayas.”

“We have been in touch with Professor Clark-Decès’ family, extending our deepest sympathies to them and offering our full support at this difficult time,” the email continued.

Clark-Decès has authored many scholarly works pertaining to Southern Asia including Religion Against the Self: An Ethnography of Tamil Rituals (as Isabelle Nabokov); and No One Cries for the Dead: Tamil Dirges, Rowdy Songs and Graveyard Petitions. She had previously received a Fulbright Fellowship.

“Isabelle was a tremendous force in the department and a wonderful person,” said Brandon Hunter ‘GS. “I only had a short time to get to know her and yet I can attest to the mark she left on my own thinking as a scholar and future anthropologist. Her tragic and untimely passing leaves me in a state of shock and sadness,” he expressed.

The University is making travel arrangements for the students who were participating in the seminar.

To be updated.

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